Kyler Murray announced on social media Monday that he is giving up baseball and will pursue his dreams of being an NFL quarterback.
“Moving forward, I am firmly and fully committing my life to being an NFL quarterback,” Murray stated in the post. “Football has been my love and my passion my entire life. I was raised to play QB, and I very much look forward to dedicating 100% of myself to being the best QB possible and winning NFL championships.”
That shuts the door on the possibility he will play for the Oakland Athletics, who made him the No. 9 overall pick in last June’s MLB draft. After the draft, Murray signed with the A’s and received a $4.66 million signing bonus, a payment he will have to return.
According to published reports, Murray will return $1.29 million of the $1.5 million he received last year. He forfeits the remaining $3.16 million due March 1.
Also, the A’s will put Murray on the restricted list and retain his rights, but they will not receive a compensation draft pick.
Murray was granted permission to play one final year of football at Oklahoma last fall before reporting to the A’s, and he won the Heisman Trophy.
Murray, an outfielder, was invited to spring training by the A’s. Position players are due to arrive on Friday at the team’s spring training complex in Mesa, Ariz.
Some NFL mock drafts have Murray being drafted in the first round, and Murray would be the first athlete ever drafted in the first round by both an NFL and MLB franchise, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
At Oklahoma, Murray guided the Sooners to a 12-2 record, an appearance in the College Football Playoff and a No. 4 final ranking. The redshirt junior passed for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns and rushed for 1,001 yards and 12 scores. He led the nation in total yards, points responsible for, yards per pass attempt and yards per completion.
Aside from the Heisman, Murray’s lengthy list of honors include the Manning Award, Davey O’Brien Award, AP Player of the Year, USA Today Player of the Year and Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
Murray is scheduled to attend the NFL Scouting Combine, to be held Feb. 26-March 4 in Indianapolis.
“I have started an extensive training program to further prepare myself for upcoming NFL workouts and interviews,” he continued in his social media post. “I eagerly await the opportunity to prove to NFL decision makers that I am the franchise QB in this draft.”
—Field Level Media